This Year {2014}

“Each day it feels like nothing has changed, but when we look back everything is different.” –Unknown

Its funny how as the year passes, at times quickly and others slowly, it seems like nothing in our life is different. But if you really take the time and think about where you were one year ago, nothing is the same. I often forget all that has gone on in the last year–the adventures, the lessons, the laughs, tears, and memories; I am so thankful I take a lot of random pictures! And keep a gratitude journal. I don’t read what I’ve written until the end of the year   and it is really amazing to re-live the days and reflect on what brought me joy. 2014 was quite a year!

Babies were born that fill my life with snuggles;

Health became more of a priority (and I like it!);

Adventures were had across the country (Kentucky, Hawaii, Silver Lake, Pismo);

Nieces and nephews grew before my very eyes into amazing little people;

Beauty was seen in things big and small (the colors of the sky, the smell of summer rain and hot coffee);

Relationships flourished;

Books were read that made me smile, relax, think and get motivated;

Challenges were faced (remember Challenge-tember?);

Disappointments served as lessons learned;

Hope grew;

And Jesus poured out grace upon grace, love upon love, and mercy upon mercy until my cup overflowed.

 

My days, my life, and especially my heart are very different than they were 365 days ago and for that I am so very thankful.

This year 2

 

 

 

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Christmas Reflections

{Sigh} Christmas is over. The decorations are still up and the smells are still lingering, but the excitement of it all is gone. Before I put it all away and make plans for the new year, I thought it would be good to reflect on the season and why it fills me up.

  • Everything glitters and sparkles and is just plain fun! Something I needed after many busy months. I even broke my own rule and decorated {2 days} before Thanksgiving!
  • Gifting giving is probably one of my love languages. I love picking out the right gift for each loved one, wrapping it, and seeing a smile as they open it. And the sweet kisses from my nieces and nephews as they say thank you…nothing better!
  • Merry & Bright Gift Swap! This year I did something extra fun and participated in a gift swap through Brave Love Blog. Bailey Jean had to sift through 150 emails and pair people up from all over the world who wanted to participate. It was fun and a little nerve-racking to pick out a gift for a person I knew only through a questionnaire and Instagram! But in the end, it was really about connecting with other women and finding a way to celebrate the season together even though my partner and I were on opposite sides of the country! Sandra blessed me with some super cozy socks, yummy hot chocolate, coffee, and candies, plus a gift card to Target! Plus its always fun to get presents in the mail, right? Thank you Sandra for your thoughtfulness!

    Goodies from Sandra

    Goodies from Sandra

  • Family time. Its amazing how family can live just a few miles away and yet I don’t get to spend time with them like I wish I could. And oh man, the laughter that ensues we were are together. I am blessed to have so many people to call my own.
  • Rest. As a teacher I get three weeks off and I always try to make sure I sleep a little longer and make at least one day a pajama day {that was yesterday}. Of course there are projects I brought home that I need to work on in the next two weeks, but getting to relax and go at a slower pace is rejuvenating.
  • Quiet time with Jesus takes on a whole other meaning. The season is all about celebrating HIM. God, very God, came to Earth so that He could know His loved ones. Know their joys and heartaches. Know their triumphs and failures. Except in His perfectness, He never sinned, but showed us all how to love and live a life that brings glory to the King. In the midst of the craziness, it is heart-filling to spend time with the One who its all about.

Quiet time

I read through the Advent Devotional by NapTime Diaries. It was amazing!

And to think I still have 2 more weeks of vacation! Yay!! Off to spend more time with family!